Yes, you do.

Does your business have an ethics policy? If not, it should. If you have one but it’s not being “lived”, think about revisiting the concept of bringing morality back to your business. A strong, viable ethics program is an excellent recession fighter.

I’m not saying your business is immoral. Nor am I saying your business needs to model itself on Puritanism. I am saying that it’s time for businesses to have internal conversations about  right and wrong.

Declining ethical standards are very costly. As this recession deepens, businesses will have to make tough choices for their survival. Some of those choices will be ‘business wise’ and based on doing what is best for the company. Some will be based on greed. I’m all for profit and strongly believe every business should make all the profit it can. But I see a difference in making more money for management and making more profit for the business. The only tool of the greedy is the axe. The wise may prune, but they also water and fertilize.

Do your people always know the “right” thing to do? Maybe it’s time to have some conversations about right and wrong. It will increase your customer and employee loyalty, reduce internal theft, protect you from liability and generally enhance the prestige of your business.

Aren’t those valuable gains in a tough economy?

Chris Reich, Author of TeachU’s Business Talk Blog
[email protected]